Thursday, June 25, 2015

Oxford Dictionary adds ‘cisgender’ along with ‘twerk’

Yeah! it has happened at last.

The word “cisgender” to denote someone whose gender identity matches the gender they were assigned at birth, has been added to the Oxford English Dictionary. 


The word is one of 500 new entries into the dictionary, alongside the word “twerk”, a dance move synonymous with singer Miley Cyrus. 

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, “cisgender”, is a word : “Designating a person whose sense of personal identity matches their gender at birth”. A word has to have been in popular use for ten consecutive years in order to qualify for the Oxford English Dictionary. 

It is understood an entry from Hansard, where former Liberal Democrat MP Julian Huppert used the term in Parliament during a discussion of trans issues, was submitted as evidence to the OED. Other words such as “meh”, “Twitterati”, “hot mess” and “Fo’ shizzle” were also added to the dictionary. The definition of “twerk” means to dance “in a sexually provocative manner, using thrusting movements of the bottom and hips while in a low, squatting stance”. It was dated back to 1820, when it was spelt “twirk”, and some have speculated that it may have been mixed with the word “jerk” to form the modern day version.

Last month, OED staff also "flagged" gender-neutral honorific "Mx" (pronounced "mux" or "mix") for possible inclusion in the dictionary, and are still deliberating. The term, used among some gender-nonconforming people and their allies, has gained the most traction in the U.K.

Despite being listed by media alongside pop culture references, "cisgender" is an important word politically, say trans activists. As LGBT activist group Basic Rights Oregon explains on their website:

"Referring to cisgender people as 'non trans' implies that cisgender people are the default and that being trans is abnormal. ... [W]hen we say 'cisgender' and 'transgender' neither is implied as more normal than the other.

"Using the word 'cisgender' is also an educational tool. To simply define people as 'non-trans' implies that only transgender people have a gender identity. But that's not true. Like sexual orientation, race, class, and many other identities, all of us have a gender identity."

Cisgender — sometimes abbreviated to "cis" — is a neutral descriptor akin to gay people labelling non-gay people as "straight," say trans advocates, and can be applied whether a cisgender person personally uses the word to describe themself or not.

Some cisgender people have argued against this assertion saying, as gay writer J. Nelson Aviance did last year, it "imposes" an identity on others, implies that all cisgender people are "normatively gendered," and is used with hostility. But while the term remains fraught for some, many trans advocates maintain that it is simply a practical classification aimed at making language more inclusive.


African American transgender blogger Monica Roberts said via her blog:

Our TERF haters love to flap their gums and claim cisgender not only isn't a word, but weakly try to claim the word is a slur. 
As we say in the Lone Star State, that dog won't hunt,

Because the English language is one that is constantly evolving, the Oxford English Dictionary adds words to it every year, This year, one of the words added to the volume that is considered the definitive and authoritative volume when it comes to English in addition to twerk was cisgender. 
That sound you just heard was TERF heads exploding, 
Yep, cisgender is now officially an English language word, so you can stop telling that lie that it isn't. It will be not only included in the 2015 edition of the Oxford dictionary, but will soon be included in other online and offline dictionaries tat look to the Oxford one as their standard for deciding what words do and don't get included.

Another one for public awareness.

Peace and tolerance

H

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sexuality - What is yours?


Yea this blog has touched this before but with new readers some subjects are worth revisiting. Sometimes a good reminder does not hurt as well to center us on basic matters.

For most people, when it comes to sexuality, there are two options: gay or straight. As a matter of fact, for some, the only sexuality that matters is heterosexuality (straight), and everything else is deviating from what is right and natural.

While this seems to be the opinion of many persons, the fact is sexuality, like most human behaviour, is not so simple. As varied as other aspects of humanity are - race, height, weight, beliefs - so is sexuality.


Take a look at the Kinsey Scale, for example. Developed by Alfred Kinsey - sexologist and founder of the Kinsey Institute - this homosexual to heterosexual rating scale was designed in 1948 to represent a study done by Kinsey and his associates to demonstrate that people do not fit neatly into sexual categories.

Kinsey writes in Sexual Behaviour in Human Male, "Males do not represent two discrete populations, heterosexual and homosexual. The world is not to be divided into sheep and goats. The living world is a continuum in each and every one of its aspects."

In Sexual Behaviour in Human Female he wrote: "It is a characteristic of the human mind that tries to dichotomise in its classification of phenomena. Sexual behaviour is either normal or abnormal, socially acceptable or unacceptable, heterosexual or homosexual; and many persons do not want to believe that there are gradations in these matters from one to the other extreme."

So let us examine the spectrum:



Asexual - This is someone who has no sexual desire or interest. Being asexual is different from having a low libido or being celibate. It's an absence of a sexual orientation. Some asexuals still engage in sexual relationships despite their lack of desire because they want to be parents, and it makes it easier for them to fit into society. An example of an asexual character is Sheldon Cooper from television show The Big Bang Theory.

Homosexual - This person has a sexual desire and interest with someone of the same gender. Female homosexuals are called lesbians, and they are generally more accepted in society than male homosexuals. In the past, homosexuality was considered a mental defect; however, it is now more accepted as a form of sexual orientation. Many countries have laws prohibiting homosexuality, and others have been changing those laws, even allowing gay marriage.

Bisexual - This person is sexually attracted to both males and females. They can enjoy sexual contact with both genders; however, most of them choose one to commit to. Sometimes, bisexuals end up in long-term heterosexual relationships and, therefore, they are assumed to be heterosexual.

Heterosexual -This is the most accepted form of sexuality and is considered the 'natural' human relationship, since reproduction requires a male and a female. Most religions state that heterosexuality is the only way, as far as 'god' is concerned. Heterosexuals have no desire or sexual interest in persons of the same gender at all.

Pansexual - Also called omnisexual. a person who is pansexual does not determine their sexual desire or interest based on gender. They are interested in the individual first, so their attraction is not influenced at all by vagina or penis. Pansexuals refer to themselves as being 'gender blind', stating that gender is irrelevant when determining whether they will be sexually attracted to others.

unclear sexuality

It is clear that sexuality is not as clear-cut as we may want it to be, and human beings are still figuring out their individual paths. However you identify sexually, be true to who you are first. I know that society is very clear about what is acceptable, but the beautiful thing is all that is changing. It is more important to be honest about who you are than pretend to be something you are not in order to fit in.

Sexuality is a part of who we are, and it can really improve our quality of life if we know how to tap into the optimum benefit of being completely sexually satisfied. It is a fact that persons who are sexually satisfied are healthier and happier than those who are not. Have fun and stay sexy!

also see:


Send your questions or comments to sexychatwithshelly@gmail.com or Tweet me @drsexylive or Facebook www.facebook.com/allaboutthesexy

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Report examines homosexuality as part of African life


Scientific evidence shows that human sexual behaviour is naturally varied, and should not form a basis for discrimination, says a highly anticipated report from the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf).

also see: 
ASSAF REPORT ASSESSES CRIMINALISATION OF SEXUAL DIVERSITY





The report, launched at the Seventh South African AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa on 10 June, examined scientific evidence on sexual practices.

Diversity in Human Sexuality: Implications for Policy in Africa was commissioned by ASSAf partly in response to a growing number of laws outlawing homosexuality on the continent, including in Burundi, Cameroon, Nigeria and Uganda. ASSAf initiated the study together with research institutes from Africa and abroad, including the Uganda National Academy of Sciences.

“There was concern in the scientific community about a rising trend in Africa against gay people,” says Glenda Gray, co-chair of the study and president of the South African Medical Research Council. “As medical professionals, we believed Africa needed a consensus study from a panel of experts in Africa who could present the most up-to-date data and recommend future areas of research.”

The report found no scientific evidence supporting views that there homosexuality is in any way  ‘abnormal’ sexual behaviour.

“There is now a wide global consensus among scientists that homosexuality is a normal and natural variation of human sexuality without any inherently detrimental health consequences,” it says. “In this context governments have a duty to consider scientific perspectives and draw on the most current scientific knowledge when creating policy and enacting laws.”

It also did not find any evidence that sexual orientation could be altered through therapy, that parents can raise children to be gay, nor that same-sex orientations are contagious.

from the document itself:
"Socio-behavioural research demonstrates unequivocally that both heterosexual and homosexual men feel that they have/had no choice in terms of their sexual attraction. The majority of women who experience same-sex attraction also express a lack of a sense of choice in their sexual orientation, although there is evidence for much greater fluidity in sexual orientation among women of all sexual orientations. 

The study explores – and finds lacking – evidence to support the contention that the way parents bring up their children, or the relationships formed between children and parents, impact on sexual orientation. While family environment may shape other elements of sexuality and the way sexuality is expressed, and while construction of gender and sexual identities have strong social and cultural components, there is little evidence that orientation is directly correlated to family upbringing."

“Broadly speaking, there is a strong bias against LGBTI people in Africa, though it is difficult to draw a line between the mood of people in the country and those driving the legislation.”

Matthew Clayton, Triangle Project 

Instead, the report presents substantial evidence that sexual diversity has always been a normal part of human society. In fact, it concludes that tolerance of same-sex orientation benefits communities and positively affects public health, civil society and long-term economic growth.

“We found that sexual diversity is normal,” says Gray. “And if you decrease discrimination, you improve access to healthcare and management of illnesses such as HIV, and you could minimise health-related economic impacts.”

Acceptance of diverse sexual practices can also improve the mental health of people with different sexual preferences and prevent divisions within families, she says.

page 17 of the study

Homosexuality is still illegal in thirty-eight countries in Africa, according to Amnesty International.

“Broadly speaking, there is a strong bias against LGBTI [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex] people in Africa, though it is difficult to draw a line between the mood of people in the country and those driving the legislation,” says Matthew Clayton, research, advocacy and policy coordinator at Triangle Project, a Cape Town-based organisation supporting the LGBTI community.

The inconsistent enforcement of anti-homosexual laws creates legal and social instability for those communities, he says.

“There is also the pervasive and untrue idea that homosexuality is ‘un-African’, and an import of the West,” he says. The report, however, flags up that there is historic evidence of homosexuality in Africa from pre-colonial times.

Clayton says the report could encourage policy makers, faith leaders and communities to learn about LGBTI people that live in their countries and “rebuff notions that can be damaging” to tolerance.

Gray shares the hope that the report may be a first step towards change.

“These are respected scientists, and by presenting their findings, their voices are hopefully heard as accurate and trustworthy and add to the mainstreaming of gender and sexual diversity,” she says.

This article was originally published on SciDev.Net. Read the original article.

ENDS

The publication also said:

"This report assesses the current global understanding of the key scientific issues involved. The panel considered the following questions: 

1. What is the evidence that biological factors contribute to sexual and gender diversity? To what degree is the wide diversity of human sexualities explained by biological factors? 

2. Do environmental factors such as upbringing and socialisation explain the diversity of human sexuality?

3. Is there any evidence for same-sex orientation being ‘acquired’ through contact with others, i.e. through ‘social contagion’? 


4. What evidence is there that any form of therapy or ‘treatment’ can change sexual orientation? 

5. What evidence is there that same-sex orientations pose a threat of harm to individuals, communities, or vulnerable populations such as children? 

6. What are the public health consequences of criminalising same-sex sexual orientations and attempting to regulate the behaviour/relationships related to some sexualities? 

7. What are the most critical unanswered scientific research questions regarding the diversity of human sexualities and sexual orientations in Africa?"

Having scanned in a first read I was expecting more cultural factors though such as innate homosexuality and same gender sex versus cultural substitutional sex or situational homosexuality between non romantic inclined same gender men per say such as in periods of hunting in packs or in pairs away from the village(s) from extended periods of time and where non penetrative play (possible partnered masturbation) is used as release during absence away from their women or wives.

I guess one thing at a time.

Peace & tolerance

H

Friday, June 12, 2015

Despite opposition, EU Parliament votes for LGBTI rights/trans identity depathologization in gender equality strategy


In a landmark vote, the European Parliament has demanded to include LGBTI rights in a future EU gender equality strategy. The depatholization component is so critical and must be watched closely.






The current strategy for equality between women and men runs out at the end of this year. The report voted on Tuesday June 9, is the Parliament’s input for the gender equality strategy 2016-2020.


Specifically on LGBTI issues, the parliament
Asks to ensure the full legal recognition of a person’s preferred gender, which is vital for trans and intersex persons (par. 24) and to work towards full depathologization of trans identities, including in childhood (par. 55);

Demands an inclusive definition of families, including families with LGBT parents in labour and family law (par. 31);

Calls on the Commission to tackle prejudice against LGBTI persons in schools (par. 61)

Furthermore, the Parliament reiterates its call to adopt a separate strategy on LGBTI rights. It also calls on the Council to adopt a Directive that would outlaw discrimination on the basis of inter alia sexual orientation, in education, social protection and access to goods and services (par. 2).



Ulrike Lunacek MEP, Co-President of the Intergroup on LGBTI Rights, commented: “The message of the Parliament is clear: It is time for the Commission to take leadership on gender equality and LGBTI rights.”

“The attempt by EPP and ECR to delete all LGBTI content shows just how out of touch they have become with today’s society. Thankfully, the Parliament rejected their attempts, and voted in favour of the original report.”

All LGBTI content was threatened by an alternative resolution as well as numerous split and separate votes, demanded by the conservative and right-wing groups EPP and ECR.


Maria Noichl MEP, author of the report and Member of the LGBTI Intergroup, added: “Misogyny, homophobia and transphobia are still widespread in Europe, and there is a lot that the EU still needs to do to make equality a reality.”

“I am very glad that the Parliament affirmed its full commitment to gender equality and LGBTI rights. It is now up to the Commission to ensure that the final strategy reflects this progressive input.”

Texts adopted
Tuesday, 9 June 2015 - StrasbourgProvisional edition
Adjustment rate for direct payments in respect of 2015 ***I
European Parliament legislative resolution of 9 June 2015 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council fixing the adjustment rate provided for in Regulation (EU) No 1306/2013 for direct payments in respect of calendar year 2015 (COM(2015)0141 – C8-0083/2015 – 2015/0070(COD)) (Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)
Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 9 June 2015 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EU) 2015/... of the European Parliament and of the Council fixing the adjustment rate provided for in Regulation (EU) No 1306/2013 for direct payments in respect of the calendar year 2015
The EU Strategy for equality between women and men post 2015

Intellectual property rights in third countries



Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Dr Shelly Ann Weeks on Gender Identity & Sexual Orientation


When the Caitlyn Jenner matter first came to light and in the height of the euphoria Nationwide radio had a discussion on the issue with the present host of the show "Everywoman" Georgette Crawford who in essence made a mess of herself as a sociologist describing Caitlyn's journey and that of another panelist our own trans voice Satiba co-founder of Aphrodite's P.R.I.D.E Jamaica as mad.


Thankfully the previous host of the same "Everywoman" radio show who happens to be a psychologist (maybe NNN needs to reconsider her hosting again) Dr Shelly Ann Weeks (her previous writing: Dr Shelly Ann Weeks on Homophobia - What are we afraid of?) has produced another simple but effective explanation of gender identity and sexual orientation which seems to be conflated in the reaction to the Jenner transition. Sadly we are not as highly exposed as let's say Cuba where their national public awareness programs on LGBT matters via the national TV station provide a steady feed of information, discussion and more.

Have a read of Dr. Weeks' piece as published in the Star today.




You would have to be living under a rock that's under the ocean to not have heard about Bruce Jenner's transition into Caitlyn Jenner.

"Call me Caitlyn" was the statement on the most recent cover of Vanity Fair magazine with a very feminine brunette who vaguely looks like Bruce Jenner in drag. This epic announcement has influenced passionate responses and a myriad of questions.

Bruce's transition to Caitlyn is possibly the most public declaration for a transgender person, and many persons seeing it for the first time were shocked. What made it even more traumatic is that Bruce was the ultimate alpha male. He's an Olympic star, father of six children and has been married three different times.

So how could he want to be identified as a woman? 


This is a very confusing idea especially for many persons who are already secure in how they identify themselves, so the thought of being so unhappy with the body a person was born with, is unbelievable. For some, the big question is about the sexuality, now that the transition has been made and Caitlyn will keep her penis. With all the questions, I found it important to make the distinction between gender identity and sexuality.

Gender Identity

Simply put, your identity is how you see yourself, and how you want to be seen by others. Gender can be masculine, feminine, intersex (having both male and female characteristics), or transgender (when a person's biological sex and gender identity don't match up). For some, gender identity is defined simply by the biological gender that they were born with. Culture and tradition also influence gender identity because there are defined gender roles that most persons conform to.

Sexuality

A person's sexuality is defined by the gender of the person that they are attracted to sexually. The spectrum can vary from asexual (no sexual attraction), heterosexual (opposite gender), homosexual (same gender), bisexual (male and female), pansexual (all genders).

It is important to note that while identity and sexuality are important aspects of human behaviour, they are not mutually exclusive.

Gender identity is very personal and though there are a lot of expectations placed on individuals because of their biology and so deviating from that is met with much skepticism. Butch women, for example, have become commonplace in Jamaica as quite a few young women choose not to express their identity in a stereotypically feminine way. While some of these ladies are homosexual, it's not always the case. While we continue to understand each other and persons express their identities, it is important that we are respectful of each other's choices whether we agree with them or not. 

Have fun and stay sexy!

ENDS

XXtraz here she is originally from her Youtube channel on Buggery and such:





Peace and tolerance

H

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Is ‘The Most Homophobic Place on Earth’ Turning Around?

So Time magazine has covered the work of Angeline Jackson of Quality Citizenship Jamaica, QCJ given the acknowledgement from President Obama during his visit to Jamaica in April 2015. 

The timing of this article could not have been more opportune as anti gay voices have long used the old 2006 article and still do up to a day ago on a recent radio show from the same magazine which supposed to be a question was made to become a label as us being the most homophobic place on earth, when really while we have our unique version there are places elsewhere that are far worse.
 


Time carried this:

Attitudes toward civil rights in Jamaica are changing — but more needs to be done

not included in the article

In 2006, Time magazine called Jamaica “the most homophobic place on earth.” The country was experiencing excessive violence and hate crimes against gays and lesbians. Three years later, a friend and I were robbed and sexually assaulted in Jamaica. We are both lesbians. When I first reported the incident to the police, an officer told me I should “leave this lifestyle and go back to the church.” But I didn’t. I reported the incident and testified against my assaulter. I became an advocate for other women like me.

In April, at a town hall meeting in Kingston, Jamaica, President Barack Obama included my story when he spoke about a generation that cares “less about the world as it has been, and more about the world as it should be and can be.” These two moments—when an official insulted me and when the U.S. president acknowledged me—show how far Jamaica has come in the last few years.

Although the LBGT community in Jamaica still faces challenges on many fronts, attitudes are changing, as detailed in a recent report from Human Rights First. Given this momentum, international partnerships and pressure on the government have the power to help change the lives of LBGT Jamaicans.

Jamaica’s “anti-sodomy law,” a holdover from British colonial rule, criminalizes “the abominable crime of buggery” and acts of “indecency” between men. Few have been convicted under the law, but many use it as pretext for unfairness and violence. Broadcasting companies have cited it when refusing to air ads promoting tolerance and respect for LGBT people. Dancehall music artists have used it to justify violent homophobic lyrics.

Many LGBT youth are forced to live on the streets after being kicked out of their homes. People can lose their jobs because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Many avoid healthcare centers, even for HIV treatment, for fear of mistreatment. Mobs have attacked and even killed LGBT people. Few are investigated for these crimes, and even fewer are convicted.

Those with intersecting identities, such as lesbians, bisexual women, and transgender people seem to get a double dose of gendered violence and prejudice.

Overturning the “anti-sodomy law” requires not just a legal case but a transformation of social attitudes. Last year, threats forced activist Javed Jaghai to withdraw his challenge to the law. A 2011 poll found that about 76% of Jamaicans oppose amending the law. Even larger majorities believe that homosexuality is immoral.

But against this grim backdrop, there is hope. Officials including Public Defender Arlene Harrison Henry, Minister of Justice Mark Golding, and chair of the Jamaican National Family Planning Board Dr. Sandra Knight have spoken boldly in favor of the human rights of LGBT people. Reverend Margaret Fowler of United Church ministers to homeless LGBT youth and urges her congregation to do the same. Anglican priest Father Sean Major-Campbell has welcomed LGBT people into his church.

Just last month at a Human Rights First reception for International Day Against Homophobia, I stood next to reggae singer Etana, as she told a room full of people on Capitol Hill that we must work to make Jamaica a place that is safe for all people. Another prominent reggae singer Tanya Stephens has created constructive dialogue around the issue, and her song “Do You Still Care?” humanizes the experience of members of the LGBT community in Jamaica. 


A range of groups—including Quality of Citizenship Jamaica, J-FLAG, the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition, Pride in Action, Aphrodite’s PRIDE, and the Colour Pink Group—also support the change.

Together, these leaders are changing the narrative around LGBT human rights in Jamaica.

Now is the perfect time for the United States to act. President Obama is very popular in Jamaica and could have a huge influence in promoting the rights of the country’s LGBT people. Newly appointed Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBT Persons Randy Berry traveled to Jamaica last month. He should work to partner with Jamaica to combat homophobic violence and unfairness. The tourism industry and other U.S. businesses in Jamaica should also make changes to ensure that their LGBT customers and employees have access to a safe, supportive environment.

There’s a Jamaican phrase, “Every mickle mek a muckle,” which means “Every little bit adds up.” I am looking forward to the day when LGBT Jamaicans can live freely thanks to the combined efforts of civil society and our partners to bring about “the world as it should be.”

ENDS

I know this appearance alone may not be enough to change the label perception but at least the headline indicates the magazine is aware of the trajectory though ever so slowly the change is happening.

also see:
Angeline Jackson on Obama Effect?

Obama Hails Jamaican Lesbian Advocate's Work

LGBT Envoy Wants To Get By With A Little Help

No Buggery Law Removal says Justice Minister

Healthy coalition nonsense! indeed

J-Flag Says It Wants More Done For LGBT People


Aphrodite’s P.R.I.D.E. Jamaica Seismic Project wraps


Another LGBT Group launches with a mature lesbian focus ........................... (my post on QCJ & Angeline from 2013)



Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Aphrodite’s P.R.I.D.E Jamaica, APJ tackles gender identity, transgender misconceptions & an ignorant sociologist







 Caitlyn Jenner (pic from the net)


As the euphoria continues surrounding Bruce Jenner’s transition from male to female and subsequent pre-released photos via the magazine Vanity Fair’s online edition for June 2015, a firestorm of sorts has also erupted here in Jamaica regarding gender identity, misplaced or conflated cross dressing with homosexual intent and supposed imposing foreign values. Sadly when these topics are made to collide or being lumped as one the fear of the unknown comes to dominate rational thinking and all kinds of statements, unqualified diagnoses and pronouncements including psychiatric ones are made that persons who either are transgender or transsexual are mentally ill despite the fact that the guiding instrument for qualified professionals who can make such diagnosis has removed gender dysphorphia (linked to the former Gender Identity Disorder, GID) from the Diagnostic Statistical Manual, DSM now in its fifth dispensation. 
"Dysphoria" is a feeling of dissatisfaction, anxiety, and restlessness. With gender dysphoria, the discomfort with your male or female body can be so intense that it can interfere with the way you function in normal life, for instance at school or work or during social activities.

Gender dysphoria used to be called “gender identity disorder.” But the mismatch between body and internal sense of gender is not a mental illness. Instead, what need to be addressed are the stress, anxiety, and depression that go along with it.


The condition has also been called “transsexualism.” But this term is outdated. Some consider it offensive. Now “transgender” is often used to describe someone who feels his or her body and gender do not match.

Gender nonconforming (GNC) is a broader term that can include people with gender dysphoria. But it can also describe people who feel that they are neither only male or only female. Informally, people who identify with both genders or with neither gender might call themselves "genderqueer."

Gender dysphoria is not homosexuality. Your internal sense of your gender is not the same as your sexual orientation.


At the time of this post NNN did not post the audio of the discussion and my recorded copy the quality is not so hot as it was captured by a third party device (phone) but here it is for now, please pardon the static:


Also see some previous posts:


Sexual & Gender Identity Disorders | APA’s proposed changes for DSM 5 2011

APA offers New Position on Transgender Care ......... 2012


Ten Reasons Why the Transvestic Disorder Diagnosis in the DSM-5 Has Got to Go 2010





The difficult task of separating drag culture from transgender identity ....... 2013

Jenner after opening her new Twitter account has broken the record for most followers in a short time as her handle gained over one million followers in less than an hour beating the previous record holder President Obama’s personal handle POTUS just some weeks before. Jenner is a former Olympic athlete of Kardasian parents formerly known as Bruce made her debut as a woman yesterday; goodbye Bruce hello Caitlyn was how some media outlets opened their coverage of the story, Jenner had revealed earlier this year his transition status after years of contemplating and the relevant engagements required for such a life altering activity. In April in that now infamous interview with Diane Sawyer revealed the issues he faced then.

I am a bit concerned about the way the story is being carried both locally and abroad as the novelty like creation of this due to the celebrity-dom of Jenner bearing in mind other persons also have come out and tracked publicly their own transitions. The co-modification element of it in terms of her look and comparisons to what he looked like before prior to the change and thus making transitioning seemed limited to someone's vain idea of being different.

I can understand some of the ignorance and the difficulty for locals to digest this new information for some as the lack of understanding of sex and sexuality (remember the HFLE fiasco?) gender identity and sexual orientation and the exposure for some Jamaicans is limited to the eyes of Hollywood, celebrity gossip and the almost glorification of cosmetic surgery which is not the same as a gender re-assignment surgery for proposes of addressing gender dysphorphia. The comments on social media suggest there is a lot of public education work that is required that our school systems have failed to do hence the resistance.

Nationwide New Network, NNN devoted some forty five minutes of prime time yesterday evening to discuss the issue and help listeners to at least begin to process some of the information coming from the most public declaration exercise as done by Jenner. Guests on the show were Dr Karen Carpenter Board Certified Clinical Sexologist and Psychologist, ‘Satiba’ from Aphrodite’s P.R.I.D.E Jamaica of which I am affiliated and Lecturer (Sociologist) and host of Every Woman on the station Georgette Crawford Williams (sister of PNP member of parliament Damian Crawford); one of the first questions thrown at Satiba by host Cliff Hughes was why has Jenna waited so long at 65 years old to make such a life changing decision?

Satiba responded that many transwomen have to hide their true identity in life .... given her life when she was younger she was a star athlete she would have been under tremendous precious to stay in from the expectations by the public and her team etc, also owing to the fact that she had a family as a man with children one may not want to upset the flow at that time until the kids are old enough. There is a lot of burden of guilt that some persons carry in weighing the decisions of coming out or transitioning so suppression of one’s true self is the modus operandi.



Dr Karen Carpenter was on point with explaining the differences in gender identity and sexual orientation while also pointing to the fact that genitalia is not all that determines ones designation of male or female, she highlighted the Hidras in India and due to their high numbers and visibility in that country a third gender designation has been granted by law however things got a little dicey when Ms Crawford’s turn came around has she went on to designate Satiba and others like her as mentally ill, it was hard to decipher whether she was being fastidious or deliberately contrarian so as to stir up controversy. Even after Dr Karen Carpenter explained gender dysphoria Ms Williams still persisted sighting dubious artciels and studies and even after Dr Carpenter subtle prodding warning her not to make psychological pronouncements as a sociologist while highlighting co-morbid conditions affecting such persons.

Dr Carpenter cautioned:

“We really must remember as professionals we must stay in our lane I will never pronounce as a Sociologist cause I am not a Sociologist ............When we have an opportunity to speak publicly we must be careful of what we say unless it is extremely well informed......”


Miss Crawford Williams then went further to suggest such persons were suicidal as they are out of touch with the bodily reality and even comparing anorexia with gender dysmorphia and the idiotic “cut off a part of their body” is not normal and goes against the societal norms. Satiba was asked to intervene she opened with her line she had to hold her tongue after hearing the mentally ill designation albeit by a sociologist. Satiba then outlined she is in transition and her timeline journey summarised from 2003, she also explained her tipping points to include a suicide attempts and failed heterosexual relationships as a man she could not continue to live a lie.

She continued: 

“I wasn’t happy ......... questions about getting married and having kids ........ this idea of having children then one day finding out about the real me ..... I could not live my life as a lie any longer, so I went out and I sought help I found a doctor who was one of the doctors who actually worked with Dr Harry Benjamin, Dr Ruth Dobar who was the one who diagnosed me and that is where my transition begun.”

Satiba also spoke to her support from her father the most unlikely of persons as she thought he would have been less accommodative and her mother more so however things played out the oppositely; she claimed the devil was in her and so on but Stiba managed to win her over somewhat by presenting research data and so on the subject and it was not about homosexuality as most persons misconstrue gender non conformity to be a gay issue .. She outlined how difficult it was losing family friends and the changes wrought due to the decision to come out.

“I was completely alone, I only had the support of my father and that was a big surprise for me cause I thought he was gonna punch me in the face and tell me get the hell outa my face and he didn't he turned around and said to me you know; you only have one life, if this is gonna make you happy do it, just make sure it’s the right thing and from that I have never looked back, he has been in my corner ever since.”


I was expecting more in the discussion though about the procedures required for the surgery and that the emphasis is on the psychological and psychiatric engagement that precedes the actual transition process. 


Mariela Castro

I wanted to hear about Cuba more so than the United States references as the island neighbour offers state sponsored surgeries and pre and post operative treatment so long as the client is diagnosed by the requisite professional; albeit the communist nation even under Fidel Castro where his daughter Mariela Castro runs an organization named CENESEX which is involved in state television awareness programming on transgenderism and sexuality. I think a non US reference might come over easier to some than a US one as the may justification for resistance of any such gender identity and sexual orientation is the first world is imposing values and new norms.

Previous interviews with Satiba and APJ:


Nationwide Radio's (Jamaica) Everywoman On Gender Identity & Transgenderism

Radio program "Love & Sex" on Sexual Identities & Transgenderism (Were you born in the wrong body?) 2010

Intersexuality, Ambiguous Genetalia & Psycho-social issues Discussion on Nationwide Radio Jamaica 11.09.09

and see:

Peace & tolerance

H

United Nations Report Advocates for Intersex Peoples' Bodily Autonomy






The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has issued a new report, “Discrimination and violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity”, A/HRC/29/23, or HERE which includes detailed reference to intersex and other LGBTI persons. OII Australia warmly welcomes this report, which for the first time calls for an end to forced medical treatment on people born with intersex variations in all UN member states. 




As well as a wide range of actions and recommendations affecting people who are same sex attracted and transgender, it contains the following statement on the medical treatment (not just surgeries) of intersex children:



53. Many intersex children, born with atypical sex characteristics, are subjected to medically unnecessary surgery and treatment in an attempt to force their physical appearance to align with binary sex stereotypes. Such procedures are typically irreversible and can cause severe, long-term physical and psychological suffering.

Similar statements, and a call to end forced treatments, have been made by the cross-party 2013 Senate committee report, “Involuntary or coerced sterilisation of intersex people in Australia” and the 2015 Council of Europe Issue Paper, as well as longstanding calls by OII Australia and other intersex-led organisations.

Australia and Malta are mentioned in connection with discrimination protection, implemented in 2013 with cross-party support:

72. … Anti-discrimination laws have also been strengthened in several States, including Chile, Cuba, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, as well as in Australia and Malta, which became the first countries to expressly prohibit discrimination against intersex persons.

It also mentions Malta, the first country to prohibit unnecessary treatments on intersex people, and Argentina, which has world-leading laws on gender identity recognition, including access to free gender-affirming treatments:

73. Legal recognition of same-sex relationships was introduced in at least 12 additional States, either in the form of civil marriage (Brazil, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Uruguay) or civil unions (Chile, Croatia, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Malta). Argentina, Denmark and Malta established new laws that allow transgender persons to obtain legal recognition of their gender identity on the basis of self-determination, while Australia (Australian Capital Territory), the Netherlands and Sweden removed abusive sterilization, forced treatment and divorce requirements. Argentina furthermore established access to free gender-affirming treatment for those who wish to receive such treatment. Nepal and Bangladesh created a legal “third gender” category, and new passport policies in Australia and New Zealand allow individuals to choose male, female or indeterminate gender markers. 


The Supreme Court of India affirmed the right of transgender persons to determine their own gender, and called upon the Government to ensure equal rights for transgender persons, including in access to health care, employment and education. Malta became the first State to prohibit sex-assignment surgery or treatment on intersex minors without their informed consent.

While intersex organisations call for an end to forced medical interventions, access to gender-affirming treatment on request, with fully informed consent, is also of clear benefit to many intersex people.

The conclusions also make several recommendations on ending unnecessary procedures on intersex children and other matters:

78. The High Commissioner recommends that States address violence by:

(g) Banning “conversion” therapy, involuntary treatment, forced sterilization and forced genital and anal examinations;
(h) Prohibiting medically unnecessary procedures on intersex children;

79. States should address discrimination by:

(c) Ensuring that anti-discrimination legislation includes sexual orientation and gender identity among prohibited grounds, and also protects intersex persons from discrimination;

(i) Issuing legal identity documents, upon request, that reflect preferred gender, eliminating abusive preconditions, such as sterilization, forced treatment and divorce;

(k) Ensuring that LGBT and intersex persons and organizations are consulted with regard to legislation and policies that have an impact on their rights

Morgan Carpenter, president of OII Australia, said:

We warmly welcome these recommendations, particularly the call to end forced medical treatment and other forms of violence.

There is much more that has to be done to provide better legal protection. Protection from unnecessary medical treatment is urgently needed, building on the recommendations of a 2013 cross-party Senate committee report.

Australia is ahead of most countries in providing federal protection from discrimination, but State/Territory laws lag behind, with many improvements necessary, to recognise the diversity of gender identities held by intersex people, and to properly resource peer and family support.

Organisation Intersex International Australia (OII Australia) is an intersex-led Public Benevolent Institution that promotes the human rights and bodily autonomy of people born with intersex variations, and provides information, education and peer/family support services. OII Australia is not funded and is volunteer-run.

Intersex people are born with bodies that don’t meet stereotypical expectations for male and female, including a range of different genetic, hormonal and anatomical sex characteristics. People with intersex variations have as diverse a range of gender identities as non-intersex people.


also see:
New OHCHR report presents recommendations on protecting LGBT rights
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